By Sr. Onellys Villegas, MHSH
(This post is part 1 in a six part series on “To Love Like Jesus: A Spirituality of the Heart”. Each week, we will post a reflection based on the Litany of the Heart by Wendy M. Wright. To read the Litany, click here. As Women of the Heart, the Mission Helper Sisters invite you to pray and reflect with us during the next 6 weeks, as we publish one reflection each week on this rich and inviting spirituality).With us, ponder:
What would it mean to love like Jesus?
What would it mean to have a heart like his?
Loving, Compassionate Heart
“So loving”… the all-encompassing loving presence of the Sacred Heart in our lives helps each of us to contribute to the holiness of the Church and give glory to our God. It is this loving presence in our lives that leads us to experience the Soft Whisper of Love.
Leaving for my work (as a counselor to women who are victims of abuse) one morning I had this deep sense of a loving presence. As my morning continued and a I listened to women experiencing pain, desperation and fear, I looked up through the window and I saw a huge tree with branches spread wide, as if it wanted to give me a big hug. I called it to the attention of the woman in the room with me to see if she was seeing what I was seeing, and she smiled. At the end of the session, I shared with her the big hug that I experienced from a loving presence in the room. She was open to it and left with a big smile on her face!
We read in the Gospel of Matthew: “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be”. (Matthew 6:21)
“So Compassionate”… Compassion alludes to kindness and sympathy, but there is something deeper, something even more profound and powerful, in its meaning. Compassion inspires and encourages us to expand our circle, it invites us to embrace all life, regardless of species, and be able to make loving, merciful choices.
The Sacred Heart represents a God of Compassion who desires that we live and act compassionately. “Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight”. (Psalm 119: 77)
Compassion occurs when the heart “quivers in response” to the suffering of another, giving rise to the wish to alleviate that suffering. When we are suffering and feel the urge to help ourselves, we are experiencing self-compassion.
I will end this reflection by sharing with you a reminder for all of us from a teacher at Loyola University of Maryland, Robert J. Wicks:
NURTURING YOUR HEART
Read a bit
Listen to a favorite song
Call a friend
Remember a kindness
Help the poor
Close doors gently
Do what you can
Relax for a moment
Tease yourself often
Take a quiet walk
Tell God a funny story